Lay Marist Formation

 Lay logoFormation is a term used by many different groups to express a period taken to explore yourself. Formation in a wider context is a life long process but in when the term is used in conjunction with vocations it is used to mean the start of a person’s journey into religious life. The beginning of formation can be an uncomfortable and sometimes difficult time (as asking yourself deeply personal questions can be) but ultimately the person undergoing formation will walk away with a greater sense of who they are.

The formation process is an idividual one with many lay coming into the Marist family by various paths. The different approaches include  IMMERSION in which a person has the chance to get involved in Marist life at the level of both community and ministry;  PRAYER and its various styles fostering of a vital spiritual life;  STUDIES in which opportunities exist for professional, spiritual and Marist studies;  and ACCOMPANIMENT in which all is undertaken in the company of a skilled and trusted person who walks with each person on their individual journey.  
 
There are different paths to formation as Champagnat Marists whether as Lay Marists or as Brothers. With its focus on young adults, The Grove is a community which introduces young adults to community and to Champagnat spirituality and to assist young men to discern the shape of their call to Marist life as single, married, diocesan priest or Marist brother. 

In addition to the traditional methods of formation named; immersion, prayer, study and accompaniment, there has been a relatively recent development by which people have been engaged in formation.  It has involved an older group of people 30+ years who are in active Marist ministry, usually in schools.  These people discover through marist seminars and programmes they tend to seek more opportunities for formation through: joining Champagnat Marist groups, attending other formation opportunities (e.g.'s Champagnat in the Pacific and/or a Shared Formation Experience) developing their Marist prayer life and deepening their understanding of applying champagnat's charism through their ministries.  In particular these Champagnat Marists embrace the 'Pillars' of Marcellin's charism:  Presence, simplicity, Family Spirit, Love of Work  and In the Way of Mary.  They discover that when they embrace the pillars they are drawn more deeply into a sense of Lay Marist vocation.